Why My Camera Is Not Good For My Health

I probably won’t need to explain the title of this post once you see the photos from yesterday taken during what was supposed to be a brisk walk for my health. With friends my age having knee surgeries and long recoveries, I’ve been forced to pay attention to my own aches and pains instead of trying to medicate (acetaminophen) them away and denial is no longer a practical solution either.

Since I can no longer disregard my aging, overused, knees, and hips, walking has taken the place of running these days. Speed seems to be my biggest issue as I can’t seem to move fast enough to affect my cardiovascular system.

I’ve not really slowed down that much in shifting from running to walking as I was never the fastest runner in any race, but walking makes it easier to see my surroundings which makes me want to pause for a photo more often than is good for me. A brisk walk becomes a stroll and before you know it, all I have is a photo essay of my walk and a need for larger trousers.

I thought someone should get something out of it my ” exercise program ” so I’m sharing a few photos of my distractions from yesterday.

A walk though these woods in any season has the feel of a cathedral and I am always in awe of the changing light.

A few steps farther along the same path on the way to the buttercup field. Notice how the path forks just up ahead.

No need to explain these lovelies.

The photo above is the area that John and I refer to fondly as the buttercup field. I know it looks pretty ordinary now, but it will be a stunning field of gold by May.

This is just a peek over a hedge at the trees below waiting to shake off the last bits of their winter look.

I never seem to capture how lovely these stone steps really look. I work with angle and exposure over and over, but I am never satisfied and wish I could walk you to this place to show you what I mean.

I make my way back to the village green where the daffodils are in full bloom and cross down to the churchyard to see what kind of color I can find there.

Yellow flowers fill the churchyard for now, but soon they’ll be competing for a bit of grassy space with the many-colored primroses that come every spring. If you look above the church door in the top left of the photo, you can see a sundial near the arch.

This sundial may seem old with a date of 1780, but there are other dates around the churchyard and inside the church that are actually much older.

I’ve taken this shot before as some of you may remember from older posts. It requires getting into a prone position to get the right angle and after all my exertion from my big ” workout ” I was tempted to have a little snooze in the sun. I did consider that finding me lying prone in the churchyard surrounded by flowers might be a bit disconcerting for someone passing by.

My friend Patrice is the latest in my Atlanta circle requiring knee surgery and if you’d think a good thought for her recovery, I’m sure she’d be grateful. Ironically she was demonstrating the proper way to run to a patient of hers when her knee went. Patrice and I ran the Marine Corps Marathon together in Washington D.C. in 2007. Given our aging joints, I have a strong feeling that may be the last big run for both of us.

Remembering The Day We Met – Valentine’s Day 2008

I took this picture last February when John and I were in Paris on our honeymoon and I’ve been saving it for just the right time. Today is the third Valentine’s Day we will spend together and the anniversary of the first time we met face to face.

Yesterday evening, John called out to me from his study and I went in to find him rereading a series of short emails that passed back and forth between us on February 13, 2008. We were emailing each other right until they closed the airplane door, documenting our thoughts and excitement as I was getting on the plane to fly over to meet him for the first time. He’s that kind of man, tender, romantic, and permanently etched on my heart. I am grateful everyday for him and I love how he remembers the details of our romance. Well loved, every day is what I am, but on Valentine’s Day it is especially nice to remember how we began.

If you don’t know our story yet and you’d like to know more, you can read about our first meeting below. After I take him a little breakfast in bed, we’re going back to Bedruthan Steps to recreate that first walk. We didn’t manage a photo the first time, but we took one a year ago and if you come back later you will be able to see a photograph from today’s walk posted underneath the one from last year at the bottom of the page.

Will You Stay With Me, Will You Be My Love

February 14, 2009

Today is the anniversary of the day I first stepped off a plane in England and into John’s arms. We’d spent the previous six weeks first emailing and later talking on Skype so we’d seen each other online for quite some time, but had never touched. Very quickly, I developed a huge crush on the darling Englishman who is now my husband. That we met for the first time in person on Valentine’s Day was more because it suited my work and travel arrangements than by romantic design. Because I had so many frequent flyer miles and a keen interest in seeing John in his own space, I suggested the idea that I come to him. I came with an open mind and a tender heart, but no expectations beyond the idea of getting to know him as only one can when actually in the same physical space.

As I write this, I have just been reminded by John that one year ago today, exactly 30 minutes from now, my plane touched down in a tiny airport in Newquay.  It is a vivid memory for us both and it’s funny now to look back and remember the thoughts and feelings I was having as I walked down the steps of the commuter flight across the tarmac and into his warm embrace that morning.

Any of you who’ve been reading my old blog at (giftsofthejourney.com) for long are aware of how this first meeting progressed from friendship and mutual attraction to the sweet ceremony we went through not quite two weeks ago. It seems appropriate to share our buttercup story and why these tiny yellow flowers have such meaning for me now.

When I arrived on that chilly day February 14, John asked me if I felt up to a little walk along the ocean on the coast path at a place called Bedruthan Steps. It was on the way back to the tiny village where he made his home and he was exited to show me a bit of the Cornish coast that he’d been telling me about for weeks. Despite having been too excited to sleep on the plane, I was definitely interested in seeing any of the places I had heard him refer to during the hours of talks we’d had using Skype.

We gradually worked our way back to the village and after putting on wellies we took a walk though a beautiful wood that opened into what I now refer to as the buttercup field. Of course, in February there were no buttercups, but I was intrigued as John described how by May the field would be covered in gold as the buttercups competed  with the constant green of the grassy space. As he told me this I thought how lovely that would be, but it was only after having spent the better part of two weeks with him that I knew with absolute certainty that I needed to come back to this field and stand in the middle of the buttercups that he said would come with the month of May.

Jumping ahead here and skipping over the activities that happened in order to bring me back, I arrived  back in England on May 13th. As I got closer to my travel date, I kept asking John, “ Have the buttercups bloomed yet? “ I was so worried that I would miss them.

Below are some of the images from the day I arrived in May last year. Few things in life are just as we imagine they will be, but this day was special and it was better than I could have imagined.  When I first saw the field of gold, I could almost hear Eva Cassidy’s voice singing in my head providing a romantic soundtrack to accompany the images that filled my eyes.  The song I heard was Fields Of Gold and I now think of this as our song. Take a minute and listen to it here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3YVil3Ajjs

I love the part of the song where she sings, ” Will you stay with me, will you be my love…”  These words were embroidered on a special linen tablecloth by my new friend Tina to use on our table for our wedding reception. The flowers you see are the two buttercups I picked that day in May. I tucked them in a pocket on the side of my pants and played in the buttercup field with them where they stayed until we returned  home. I forgot they were there and when I noticed them again, I took them out and pressed them in a book. They dried twined together having fallen into the position that you see in the picture. I took a photograph of them and Tina created a sketch from it and the tablecloth design is a now a lasting memory of the day I came back to John and saw the buttercups for the first time.

I’m off now to climb Bedruthan Steps with John as we go back to the place we walked one year ago today. Today we’ll celebrate old memories and look forward to making new ones…and soon we’ll be walking in fields of gold again.

Bedruthan Steps – February 14, 2009

Bedruthan Steps – February 14, 2010